Coats – You know you’re a dog lover when there’s a variety of
doggy coats and jackets hanging next your own coats and jackets!
the exception of the handful of hairless breeds, nature has provided
most dogs with their own handsome fur coats. Some are short and
sparse, while others are long, thick and heavy with dense undercoats,
but in general nature’s coverings are usually adequate to protect
your dog from a cold and wet world. However, for those hairless
dogs, for those whose fur is a little too thin, for aging or shorn
dogs, or for those times when the cold or wet is just too much for
even the most well-furred dog, the extra protection a dog coat provides
can be not only nice, but necessary for your dog’s well being.
many of our dogs look so well protected in their natural fur coats,
most people never consider that they too could benefit from protective
dog clothing. There are times when the cold weather or sharp thorns
penetrate even the thickest of coats.
like us, if our dogs are left unprotected for extended periods of
time in the cold, they can suffer the chilling effects of the elements
losing their body heat at an accelerated rate.
fit is essential. Dog clothing like a dog coat must fit well so
that it will remain securely in place throughout an active day of
hunting or hiking. The coat that you choose must be designed to
keep your dog warm while providing protection from wind and rain.
if you choose a dog coat that covers the underside of your dog,
make sure that it’s designed to give your dog enough room to do
clothing designed for the active hound should allow your dog to
enjoy a full range of motion. So make sure the leg openings will
not restrict your dog’s movement.
look for garments designed with clean lines that are less likely
to get caught on things. A well-fitting garment designed for the
shape of your particular breed is best.
addition to just keeping warm, another reason for getting your dog
a coat is protection from the elements: rain and snow, dust and
dirt. Many dog coats are waterproof and reversible. If your dog
doesn’t get wet or dirty, you don’t need to clean or dry him. If
he has sensitive skin, a coat can help to protect him and prevent
skin irritation. There are even cooling coats, designed to help
your dog cool down after a workout, especially helpful for dogs
with short noses who suffer more from the heat, and coats that reflect
harmful rays from the sun so he’s not too warm.
of Dog Coats:
amount of dog hair and dander left on carpet, furniture, bedding
– Decreases amount of dirt, stickers, fleas and ticks left in home
– Keeps dogs clean
– Reduces the number of stickers/burrs in fur
– Reduces the number of fleas jumping onto dogs
– Reduces likelihood of ticks latching on
– Reduces dog’s exposure to biting insects
– Keeps fur from matting due to snow or mud
– May reduce risk of skin cancer
– Keeps dog’s coat clean and protected. In many cases, reduces grooming
– During rehabilitation helps keep dogs from bothering/irritating
wounds, stitches, rashes and medicated areas located on body and
legs. Ideal for dogs with allergies.
– Reduces amount of dog hair, dander, dirt, stickers/burrs, and
fleas left in your vehicles.
And in addition to the many practicalities, dressing your dog up
in a stylish coat can be just plain fun. Whatever your reasons if
you have decided your dog needs a coat, you are fortunate as there
is a large variety from which to choose – basic protection to designer
chic. You’ll find there are almost as many styles and types of coats
for your dog as there are for you, so you should have no trouble
finding something to suit your tastes and your dog’s needs.
Dog coats are made of a wide variety of materials. Possible yarns
and fabrics include:
Natural fibers are cotton, wool, linen, hemp, ramie, jute and silk.
Cotton, even heavy cotton, does not provide a lot of warmth and
so is more suitable for a jacket or light cover that will protect
your pet while keeping him cool. Wool on the other hand, which describes
any fiber made from animal coats, is very warm, with the added benefit
of being able to retain its warmth even while wet. Linen, silk and
the other natural fibers are more suitable for designer styles than
examples of fabrics made of natural fibers are
– Shearling wool which is really leather from a lamb or sheep, with
the wool still attached.
– Leather and Suede
– Corduroy is a cut pile fabric with vertical ribs, usually made
– Canvas is a very heavy duty woven fabric that will stand up to
a lot of wear.
– Lambsdown, a heavy knitted wool fabric, that has a napped fleece
on one side
– Flannel is a soft napped fabric of either wool or cotton
– Felt is a very dense fabric made by entangling and pressing fibers
together rather than knitting or weaving them.
– Worsted describes both a very tightly twisted wool yarn, and the
fabric which is made from it, whether knitted or woven.
– Denim is the jeans fabric
– Terrycloth is a looped pile fabric, usually cotton
– Wax finish woven cotton is a waterproof type of cotton fabric
Synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, and rayon are
very commonly used for clothing, including dog coats. Other specialty
fabrics, fiberglass for example, or olefin, vinyon or sulfar, are
unlikely to be used for this purpose. However, some fire retardant
fabrics might be useful for particular dogs and situations, as is
spandex or Lycra, a stretch type of fabric, and some soft plastics
or vinyls for rain gear.
of commonly used synthetic fabrics include:
or faux furs are usually made of acrylic, and come in an incredible
variety, some almost indistinguishable from real fur. You can find
minx, rabbit, fox, beaver and other traditional fur types, as well
as “fun furs” that don’t pretend to look natural, but come in a
rainbow of colors and range from long and shaggy, to short and curly.
– Polartec� fleece is made of polyester, but its patented construction
is such that it provides a very lightweight, but dense, windproof,
and sometimes waterproof barrier against the elements.
– Fleece is a generic term referring to any thick, deep pile fabric,
but is most commonly made of acrylic.
– Nomex is a fire retardant fabric commonly used for flight suits
or firefighters’ attire.
– Nylon is an especially useful fabric, as it can be very densely
woven to produce an exceptionally durable fabric, as well as rubberized,
or otherwise treated to make it waterproof, and therefore suitable
for rain wear.
Blends are just that – blends of both natural and synthetic fibers.
Blends can incorporate the attributes of two or more different fibers
at the same time. For instance a nylon/spandex blend has the durability
of nylon as well as the stretch of spandex. A wool/polyester blend
combines the warmth of wool with the easy care of polyester. Polyurethane
is commonly used to coat fabrics of various types in order to make
Combinations have several different fabrics combined in the same
coat. For example, one style has a nylon outer shell, with polyfill
insulation, and a plush fleece lining. Rain coats typically have
a waterproof outer shell with a soft cotton or other fabric lining.
Some fancy coats combine an elegant velvet or silk fabric body with
faux fur trim.
– Rain slickers
– Cotton sun protection coat with ties
– Towelling coats after a bath or in the car when the dog is wet.
Ideal for after wet, muddy walks and swimming. The coats will warm
and dry the dog quickly, helping to prevent stiff joints and wet
– Thick fleece coat suitable for walking or sleeping in kennel
– Greyhound numbered track coats
– Reflective dog coats have reflective on the side and front for
– Jackets that cover the top of the dog’s back with a tie around
– Hooded parkas
– Rain and snow repellent winter coats with a warm lining for dryness.
These are designed in the same style as a traditional horse blanket,
with criss-crossing straps and adjustable neck ensures
Knitted or crocheted styles of dog coats are often referred to as
dog sweaters, while those made of various types of woven and other
fabrics can include sweatshirts, jackets, heavy coats, and fully
tailored body suits.
coats come in one of three main styles. The most basic is a semi-fitted
piece of fabric that covers your dog’s back, with a band that fastens
around the front of his chest and another that goes under his belly.
Then there are more fully fitted coats that not only cover the back
and chest, but come down around the sides, covering most of the
dog’s body. And then there are complete suits that cover the dog
fully, including all four of his legs. All these styles also are
available either with or without hoods. The hooded types have a
hole for the leash to pass through. Style variations include:
or button coats have snaps (or buttons) to fasten a band of fabric
across the chest and under the belly.
– Belted coats have a belt that fastens over the dog’s back and
under his belly with a standard belt buckle, or Velcro straps, as
well as buckles or Velcro to fasten a fabric band across the chest.
There’s a variation of this style that looks like a miniaturized
horse blanket, with nylon straps and chrome buckles.
– Zippered coats fasten up the back or belly with a zipper, and
may either have a band across the chest, or sleeves for the front
– Electric dog coats are showing up in Finland, which has a problem
with wolves eating domestic dogs. These coats are designed to deliver
a 1,000 volt shock to a hungry wolf, while protecting the dog inside
who will feel no pain.
– Cooling coats are made of terrycloth or some other absorbent material,
and are wet before putting on the dog. Cooling is by evaporation.
– Licensed merchandise includes dog coats sporting logos of well
known cartoons, movies, television shows, sports events, stars or
teams, even brands of cars or motorcycles such as Dodge Ram or Harley-Davidson.
– Costume themed coats are available for your dog, allowing you
to keep him warm while dressing him up as a zebra or tiger, or perhaps
a cow or giraffe, maybe even a robot or alien from outer space.
You can even dress your dog up in a Santa suit for Christmas or
as the Easter Bunny or Uncle Sam
– Reflective dog coats give your dog greater visibility in dim light
– Camouflage coats, or military or bomber-style jackets are popular
Dog Body Suits also called Trouser Suits and All-in-One Suits
Dog body suits cover your dog completely. Some styles cover the
entire dog, with sleeves for his legs and a hole for his tail, with
openings for him to go to the bathroom. Others leave his rump and
tail hanging out, while covering his chest, back, belly and legs.
Some come with hoods.
or Lycra body suits fit very snugly yet are breathable and move
with your dog. – Jogging suits are usually made of a lightweight
knitted fabric or fleece and have a looser fit than the spandex
– Snow suits are made of either extra heavy fabric, or consist of
an outer shell with an inner liner, sometimes with a middle insulating
layer. Most fit snugly around the bottom of the legs and around
the neck by means of ribbed cuffs, zippers, elastic or all three.
– Rain suits are similar to snow suits except they are not as heavy,
and the outer layer is rubberized, coated with polyurethane, or
made of vinyl or some other waterproof material.
As with many other items of apparel or merchandise, there are well-known
brands of dog coats. Some examples include:
for All Dogs
– Burberry is a well known UK brand, and is usually carried by high
end stores. This company makes a complete line of stylish dog accessories,
including fashionable coats and sweaters.
– Driza-Bone, the name of an Australian company that makes weatherproof
gear for both two-legged and four-legged creatures.
– Foggy Mountain dog coats are made in the US, and the line includes
heavy duty “turnout” coats, as well as a lush fur-trimmed velvet
formal coat and other fancy duds.
Breed Specific Brands
– Kellings Dog Coats could also be listed above, as they make standard
sized dog coats, including camo and reflective. But they specialize
in breed-specific coats, especially coats for Greyhounds, Whippets,
and Italian Greyhounds.
– House of Marley coats are made to fit the distinctive wide-chested,
narrow-hipped physique of Pugs
– Spoiled Yorkies specializes in apparel and coats for Yorkshire
Terriers and other toy breeds.
Dog coats come in ready made and custom made, and you can also purchase
patterns to sew, knit or crochet yourself. Whichever you choose,
you’ll need to measure your dog for the best fit.
dog coat suppliers require you to measure only the length of your
dog’s back, from the base of his collarbone to the base of his tail,
and round off to the nearest inch, which will give a round number
corresponding to size from 8-20. Standard dog coat sizes have a
girth that is approximately proportional to the length. However,
unusually slender dogs, such as Greyhounds or Whippets, or exceptionally
stocky ones like St. Bernards may not be well fitted in a standard
size and will need a custom coat, whether made by you or someone
of whether you purchase a standard size, or have a coat custom made,
taking a complete set of measurements will ensure you have the information
you need for the best fit for your dog.
measure for a coat it is necessary to have the dog standing. You
won’t get accurate measurements if the dog is sitting or lying down.
a cloth tape measure. Lay the tape measure along the dog’s body
to get accurate measurements. When measuring around the neck or
chest the tape should be snug but not tight. When measuring from
the base of the neck to the base of the tail allow the tape measure
to lay along the natural curves of the dog’s body. For the length,
one of the most important measurements, measure the backbone of
the dog from the base of the neck to the start of the tail. That’s
the start of the tail – not the very tip. Just the base of the dog’s
back where the tail starts. Start the neck measurement where the
collar would sit naturally on the pet’s back.
complete set of measurements will include:
Neck Circumference – measure around the neck at base of collar.
2. Topline Length – measure from base of collar to base of tail,
laying tape measure along back.
3. Chest Circumference – measure around largest part of chest 1/2″
behind the front legs. This is the thickest part of the chest.
4. Neck to Midsection Length – measure from neck at base of collar
5. Midsection Circumference – measure around midsection at “waist,”
in front of the “equipment” on a male dog
6. Top of Neck Circumference – measure around highest point of neck,
directly behind the head.
7. Neck Length – measure from top of neck to base of collar.
8. Length of chest. The last measure should occur from the front
of the chest plate, located between the front legs, to just behind
should not add any extra to these measurements or the coat won’t
fit right. In addition, if you have any questions about size, either
ask the supplier or maker first, or read the instructions in any
pattern before proceeding. Above all, see individual product items
for recommendations made by specific manufacturers for sizing. The
best determination can only be made if the actual pet is being measured
and manufacturer recommendations are being followed.
is fairly easy to determine before you purchase or make a coat.
It’s not so easy to adjust once the coat is bought or made. Weight
should be used as a guideline only as it will not give an accurate
length or width. Remember, that certain breeds e.g. greyhound, dachshund
or an over or underweight dog may need a custom fit.
for coats designed with clean lines that are less likely to get
caught on things. A well-fitting garment designed for the shape
of your particular breed is best. Make sure the coat is well-fitting
to help keep your dog out of trouble. In addition to never putting
on a coat that’s constraining and too tight, never put on a loose
fitting dog coat because things can get caught on the dog coat and
get stuck through the loose opening and harm the dog. You don’t
want a fallen tree branch acting like a barb on a fishhook and prevent
your dog from getting loose.
coats designed for the active hound should allow your dog to enjoy
a full range of motion. Make sure the leg openings will not restrict
your dog’s movement.
The Bottom Line:
The first time you put a coat on your dog he might resist it.
After you dog has his coat on and all fastened up, if he resists,
take him outside immediately so he doesn�t get overheated. Then
get him involved in an activity that he loves to do like a game
of catch or take him for a brisk walk. This activity will help to
distract him from the coat, and at the same time he�ll be learning
to associate wearing his new coat with a pleasurable experience
or activity. Don�t forget to have some tasty dog treats available
to reward and reinforce his good behavior.
of sequined coats or anything that your dear dog might find interesting
to chew on with hazardous result. Just like a child, make sure you
are not providing a choking hazard on any stylish or functional
dog coat you select. You know your pet best. If buttons are something
to be attacked with glee, omit them! If flashes of glitter on the
side of a coat are teeth targets, don’t get it.
closure method than buttons or snaps is Velcro. This self-sticking
closure fabric will allow coats to be made adjustable for those
pets for whom weight loss and gain are a constant battle. Additionally,
you do not have to worry about buttons or snaps being chewed off
and eaten – or even worse – on which your dog could choke.
forget the necessity for a slit at the back for a leash. Any provider
of dog coats include a place for the harness or leash attachment
to come through, but it needs to be kept in mind if you are making
him a coat.
matter what kind of coat you purchase for your favorite fur friend,
make sure it’s
washable. There is not a pet in the world that wants to don a dirty
slicker or coat!
you’ve seen, there is an enormous variety from which to choose if
you’re thinking about outfitting your canine companion with a coat
to keep him warm, protected from the elements, or just to give him
a stylish appearance. Dog coats may be found in pet stores, high
end boutiques and department stores, feed and tack stores, and over
the internet where you can shop the world. Prices range from just
a few dollars to many hundreds, or even thousands for bejeweled
designer coats from expensive boutiques. Determine your needs, take
your time, choose carefully, and above all have fun!
Home : Pet Supplies